Last week, the St. Louis Rams, Oakland Raiders, and San Diego Chargers all filed for relocation to Los Angeles, which hasn't had an NFL team since 1994. On the first day of eligibility, January 4, all three teams submitted their proposals, which the 17 members of the league's finance, stadium and L.A. committees reviewed before offering their recommendation to the league's 32 owners. Now that decision has come through and the St. Louis Rams are officially free to relocate to L.A.
Needing a 75 percent approval from the owners (24 yes votes), Rams owner Stan Kroenke's plan to build a $1.86 billion facility in Inglewood was given the thumbs up by 30 out of the 32 NFL team bosses. The Raiders and Chargers' plan to share a $1.75 billion stadium in Carson was denied, but the Chargers have the option to join the Rams in a year and share the stadium Kroenke will build. It won't be ready until 2019, so the first few seasons for any L.A. team would likely see home games played at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
It's unclear if the Rams will change their uniforms or logos in any way, but needless to say their fans in St. Louis aren't pleased that they're being abandoned. "It is bittersweet," Kroenke told reporters after the announcement. "We understand the emotions involved of our fans. It is not easy to do these things, they are purposely made hard." But business is business.
As for the Raiders, owner Mark Davis isn't sure what will happen. "I don't know where we'll be," he quipped. "We don't have a lease right now at the Oakland Coliseum. America, the world is a possibility for the Raider Nation."
Although the decision has been made, the next few years are probably going to be rather tumultuous for all three franchises, since the Rams have to deal with the costs of moving and playing in an even older stadium until their new one is complete, the Chargers have to decide if they want to move, too, and the Raiders need to figure out where they'll play if they stay in Oakland long term. When it comes to the actual competition in the league, though, not much should change — it's just a couple of fan bases that might look a little different.
Cover image: Keith Allison via Flickr